This week in Winning Post

The third of Randwick's big handicap miles is on this Saturday and champion Sydney trainer Chris Waller will be looking to add to his surprisingly lean record in the race.

Waller has only won the Villiers once, in January 2008, when it was run over 1400 metres, the original date having been wiped by equine influenza.

Waller's winner was Honor in War, who took the race on a controversial protest from people's champ Takeover Target.

This year Waller faces a tough task to break his drought, with Godolphin galloper Ranier (pictured) and the John Sargent-trained House of Cartier looking hard to beat.

Who will prevail? Joel Marshall's preview will lead this week's Winning Post.

Our form coverage kicks off on Friday with full form guides for the Moonee Valley and Canterbury night meetings plus bet365 Geelong and the Moe twilight, as well as fields, colours and selections for a stack more.

The metro racing this Saturday is at Flemington in Melbourne, Randwick in Sydney, Morphettville in Adelaide, Eagle Farm in Brisbane and Ascot in Perth.

Winning Post carries full-colour liftout guides for all those meetings plus the Cranbourne night meeting (Vic/SA/Tas edition), Kembla Grange (NSW edition) and Gold Coast (Queensland edition), as well as fields, tips, ratings and/or colours for other TAB Saturday cards.

On Sunday we've got liftout formguides for four more TAB meetings plus fields, ratings, tips and colours for a stack more Sunday and Monday programs.

Don't forget Winning Post now carries trackwork reports for all four Melbourne training tracks, all three in Sydney, Morphettville in Adelaide and a general Brisbane report.

Away from the form, we've got news columns from Queensland, NSW, six Victorian districts, SA and Tasmania.

Our readers have their say on page 4, while further back in the book Shane Templeton reminisces, Paul Richards presents his unique take on the sport, Tony Kneebone brings you his Snippets column and Number Cruncher delivers the stats that matter.

Winning Post costs $5.50 and is available Thursday afternoon in selected Ballarat newsagents, the crack of dawn Friday elsewhere.

... More

Inside Winning Post December 14 edition you'll find liftout form guides for:
The Valley, Canterbury, bet365 Geelong, Moe
Flemington, Randwick, Morphettville, Eagle Farm, Ascot, Cranbourne (Vic/SA/Tas edition), Kembla Grange (NSW edition), Gold Coast (Qld edition)
Bendigo, Hawkesbury, Canberra, Sunshine Coast
Veterans? races for eight-year-olds and up: good idea?
Eye Catchers
Each week Paul Richards identifies horses from recent race meetings that he believes are ready to win. Here we update you when they are about to have their next start.
Mudgee Friday - R7 N4 Boomtown Rat 5th
Rosehill Gardens Saturday - R9 N3 Murillo 9th
Spendthrift Australia Park Sunday - R7 N1 The Lord Mayor 7th
Letter of the Week

Stick with stamina

The mesmerising Jericho Cup offers a genuine Melbourne answer to the Sydney challenge.
No more tit-for-tat gimmicky add-on races that will take us down a non-sustainable path even faster in an industry that does face challenges with regard to cultural relevancy.
Leave the Melbourne Cup as it is — a 3200-metre handicap. But drastically lift the prizemoney of the Mackinnon Stakes for the final day of the Flemington carnival to attract the superior northern-hemisphere middle-distance champions. Maybe even stretch it out to the classic distance of 2400 metres. 
And lift even further the Cox Plate prizemoney as a natural first bite of the cherry and a lead-in race two weeks earlier to create a real international championship challenge. 
The horses are already flooding in so let’s lift their quality. 
The Jericho is a wonderful spectacle that reaches way back through thoroughbred traditions from all over Europe. 
It is why the thoroughbred evolved as a lean, long-legged, arch-necked animal that can run all day — a far cry from the low-slung, muscled-up bulls from the Hunter Valley. 
Leave the Jericho where it is, at Warrnambool, but why not revamp the Melbourne autumn to have a similar marathon? 
Maybe even rebrand and extend the Australian Cup, or simply invent a new weight-for-age race called the Snowy River Stakes over four miles.  The famous poem was about an ultimate marathon. 
Stay with the stayers and beef up the program. Then we all benefit in Australian racing — Sydney for speed and Melbourne for stamina. The best of both worlds.  
Some people love the quarterhorse-style nature of Sydney programming. So be it. 
Melburnians need to stay to their strength — stamina.
They don’t have to do too much fiddling with the program as it now stands. Just change it intelligently and ethically.

Terry Hartney
Hanoi (Vietnam)
Today's Racing
Tuesday 10 December
Wednesday 11 December
Thursday 12 December
Social Networking

Paul Richards introduces a fun formula each week designed to come up with the odd winner for those looking for a small interest or to see if systems really work. On this page he subjects Saturday's fields to one of those systems: